“My thesis is that this was arranged by one or both sides. This is not only a slip, it is a huge slip of both protocols, and a huge provocation and failure in terms of international law,” international lawyer Dr Miha Pogačnik commented on the display of the rainbow flag instead of a Slovenian one at a meeting of the Minister of Justice Dominika Švarc Pipan with her Austrian colleague in Vienna.
On the official Facebook page of Minister of Justice Dominika Švarc Pipan, we can read that she recently visited her ministerial colleague Alma Zadić in Vienna. The meeting would have been nothing special if the Austrian and European flags had not been accompanied by a rainbow flag instead of the Slovenian one. This is because it is the flag of a specific ideology and movement. As we know, in the case of an official visit, this is pure provocation and a breach of flag protocol. According to the same principle, in the future, someone could fly the flag of any canine club or scout organisation instead of the Slovenian flag. In the second case, the entire transition establishment would start “screaming and shouting” about how this is an interference of the Church in the state… So this is just new proof that the first-class citizens can afford to do anything they want to, and usually, no one is held accountable for anything… And finally, it is a clear hint that the officials of this government are not in the service of the homeland but only of lobbying interests. Zadić wrote that this was an “exchange.”
The Austrian colleague explained the joint meeting of the Ministers as a “concern to more effectively extend protection against violence and to better combat hate speech and hate speech in the digital space.” At the same time, they intend to bring the judiciary into the 21st century, which is why they also spoke about the importance of digitalisation in the sector, as the Austrian judiciary is a model for other European countries in this area, and they want to share their knowledge with their Slovenian colleagues. Švarc Pipan wrote: “I am very pleased with yesterday’s official visit to the Austrian Minister of Justice, Alma Zadić.” As she went on to say, they are both “wholeheartedly committed” to further strengthening good neighbourly relations, including in the area of justice, in particular to the strict implementation of Article 7 of the Austrian State Treaty and to ensuring the use of the Slovenian language in the courts in Austrian Carinthia. The two countries also exchanged experiences and good practices in the areas of the fight against violence against women and domestic violence, the protection of victims, the fight against hate speech, and the digitalisation of the judiciary.
“We also discussed open issues and projects of the European Union, most of which we share similar or common views on and are also strengthening cooperation at this level as well,” Švarc Pipan added. “We have two protocols: the protocol of the receiving country, Austria, and we have the protocol of the Republic of Slovenia, which in this case has apparently ‘fallen asleep’ – or not… And that is the main dilemma.” As Pogačnik went on to explain, if the flag of any other country had been flying there instead of the flag of the Republic of Slovenia, it would have been a “protocol slip.” But if there is a flag of something that is not a country, one has to wonder who initiated that. Was it the Republic of Austria or the Republic of Slovenia that initiated this? The rainbow flag of the LGBTQ/ community is not a flag of a state. “That is to say, the whole thing was probably arranged from one side or both. That is the main point.” This was not a mistake. In this case, the Austrian and Slovenian protocols cannot and must not be wrong.
“She should stand before the Slovenian flag and not the Siemens flag, the Mountaineering Association flag, or the FIFA flag.” Pogačnik went on to explain that ministers represent countries, not other institutions. “It would be exactly the same if the flag of the Fire Brigade, the Flag of the Mountaineering Association, or the flag of FIFA were there. This is one big provocation that had to be agreed on to some extent. And it was obviously agreed with the Austrian side. The Foreign Ministry should have protested against this immediately, the Minister should have protested as well… She should stand before the Slovenian flag, not the Gorenje, Siemens or Bosch one.” One cannot help but wonder what the Minister of Justice is supposed to represent. Pogačnik believes this whole thing “totally stinks.” “Why would the Austrians fly their rainbow flag if the Slovenian Minister of Justice is coming to visit? And why would our Minister then stand under that flag, and why would she not protest?” Pogačnik is convinced that it is already a major scandal to mix up two national flags, say the Slovenian one with the Slovak, Serbian or Russian one. Which is exactly what happened to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Tanja Fajon in Macedonia, where she was greeted by a Slovak flag. Švarc Pipan, on the other hand, chose to stand under a flag of a certain movement of her own volition!